ExeVir wins backing to develop llama-derived antibodies for COVID-19

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

July 28, 2020 -- Belgian firm ExeVir Bio has closed on a 23-million euro ($26.9 million U.S.) series A financing round to support the development of its llama-derived antibody (VHH) technology in treating COVID-19.

The financing was led by Fund+, with the participation of Belgian life science research institute Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), UCB Ventures, the Belgian Federal Government via Société Fédérale de Participations et d'Investissement-Société Fédérale de Participations (SFPI-FPIM), V-Bio Ventures, and several Belgian family offices, according to ExeVir Bio. The company will use the funds to advance the antibody into clinical trials.

A spinoff of VIB, ExeVir Bio is utilizing its VHH technology to develop treatments for viral infections. Its lead asset, VHH782-Fc, binds to a unique epitope that is conserved in both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, preventing these viruses from entering the cell, according to the firm. As a result, it could be used as a therapeutic and a prophylactic.

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